In 2019, the majority of post-secondary students self-reported “feeling so depressed in the last twelve months that it was difficult to function” on the National College Health Assessment survey. Additionally, Health Canada indicates that one in five Canadians will experience mental health issues in their lifetime, with 70% of those experiencing onset before the age of 18.
At present time, there is a substantial gap in research evidence on the mental health needs of university students. This knowledge gap contributes to rising concerns over effective mental health programs on campus, service design and delivery. Many of these issues were identified in the January 2020 report from U of T’s Presidential & Provostial Task Force on Student Mental Health.
Establishing a network of experts in youth and student mental health research will allow us to co-create research-informed, evidence-based solutions to the challenges identified by the Task Force on Student Mental Health.
Our research network will partner with U of T and CAMH researchers as well as expert stakeholders such as students, clinicians, staff, and administrators. This model of research development will ensure collaboration and cross-divisional thinking, and accelerate the translation and dissemination of high-quality evidence into the public domain.
Together, we can mobilize and build on the expertise that already exists in student and youth mental health across U of T in order to lead high impact, collaborative research that will strengthen our community wellbeing and position ourselves as an international leader in campus mental health.